Light Tunnel #13707

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The Story

I love fall foliage and had to get closer when I saw these sugar maple trees lit in brilliant yellow leaves on a distant hill. When I got there, I discovered the parallel railroad tracks beneath them in this deep cut through a large hill. Being on a long straightaway, the railroad tracks drew out a strong dramatic perspective into the distance, one that surely pulls you along through with it in this magical view. This spot was a great chance to make a compelling fall foliage picture with the railroad tracks and trees. It’s the work of nature and man combined into one.

The sugar maples in this picture are very old, tall, and nearly grown together at the top. Altogether, they make this beautiful organic tunnel of dazzling yellow leaves. Even more yellow leaves have fallen to the ground, making a golden carpet in the drainage ditches outlining the railroad tracks below. The yellow ditches make even more parallel lines into the distance. Other leaves lie scattered about the tracks like sprinkles on a donut, kicked up by every passing train and they are frequent through here on the CSX Railroad.

I stood on a street bridge within the small town of Meyersdale, Pennsylvania to shoot this fall foliage frame as opposed to usually taking autumn pictures out in the countryside. That area of western Pennsylvania along the Maryland border has long been known for maple sugar production and this town even has a yearly festival in the Spring to celebrate it: http://www.pamaplefestival.com. And yes, the fall foliage overall is generally great in that region too.

The railroad tracks belong to the CSX Railroad and are one of their busy east-west mainlines. Many years ago in the 1800s, these railroad tracks were originally part of one of the first railroads in the United States, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. On this day I visited, a rack train full of brand new cars came through eastbound under my feet while standing on the bridge. Quite a contrast with a modern train hauling cargo far different than those 1830s days and the B&O beginnings. Cars wouldn’t be invented until roughly 80 years later!

More fall foliage pictures are here and you can find more pictures with trains in the Railroad Gallery, with some steam trains in fall foliage too.

Location: Meyersdale, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story ©Andrew Dierks

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